State May Intervene in Pebble Mine Case

The State of Alaska has intervened in the case of the Pebble Limited Partnership versus the Lake and Peninsula Borough.  The case revolves around whether or not a citizen initiative can go to the ballot in October.  ‘Alaskan’s for Bristol Bay’ has been working to get the ‘Save Our Salmon’ Initiative on the ballot since March. The initiative is aimed squarely at Pebble Mine. It would amend the Borough’s development permitting code to prevent the advancement of any large-scale resource extraction activity, including mining that would destroy or degrade salmon habitat.

The case started out in the Dillingham court back in March. A hearing took place in Anchorage in June, and in late July a judge ruled the vote could to go forward.  August 1 the Pebble Partnership took the case to the Supreme Court of Alaska.  The office of the Attorney General issued an ‘emergency motion’ to join the case Friday, citing the state’s interest because the SOS Initiative, “will interfere with the state’s management of Alaska’s mineral resources for the benefit of the state of Alaska,” and the likelihood of the outcome of the case to have a precedential effect.

The state’s motion for expedited consideration of the case was quickly granted and the Supreme Court has agreed to make a decision in the case by August 15.   All parties have until 8:00 a.m. Monday Morning to file responses to the state’s motions to join the case and respond to the state’s arguments. The Lake and Peninsula Borough is set to vote on the initiative October 4.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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